Integration of vaccine supply chains with other health commodity supply chains: a framework for decision making

Vaccine. 2014 Nov 28;32(50):6725-32. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.10.001. Epub 2014 Oct 23.


One of the primary objectives of National Immunization Programs is to strengthen and optimize immunization supply chains so that vaccines are delivered to the end recipients effectively, efficiently and sustainably. As a result of larger investments in global health and a wider portfolio of vaccines, global agencies are recognizing the need for vaccine supply chains to operate at their most optimal levels. Integration with other supply chains is often presented as a strategy to improve efficiency. However, it remains unclear if the proposed benefits from integration of vaccine supply chains with other supply chains will outweigh the costs. This paper provides a framework for deciding where such integration offers the most significant benefits. It also cautions about the pitfalls of integration as a one size fits all strategy. It also highlights the need for systematic collection of cost and efficiency data in order to understand the value of integration and other such initiatives.

Keywords: Cold chain logistics; Supply chain integration; Supply chain segmentation; Vaccine delivery; Vaccine distribution; Vaccine supply chain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / economics*
  • Refrigeration / economics*
  • Refrigeration / methods*
  • Vaccines / supply & distribution*


  • Vaccines